Copper Scroll Project

Book Review: “The Copper Scroll Project” by Shelley Neese

on January 16, 2019

(Editor’s note: Today’s guest writer is Arlene Bridges Samuels, author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and a contributor for The Christian Post.) 

“The Copper Scroll Project: An Ancient Secret Fuels the Battle for the Temple Mount” by Shelley Neese. Morgan James Publishing, 2018. 348 pages.

Hitch your reading shovel to The Copper Scroll Project: An Ancient Secret Fuels the Battle for the Temple Mount and dig into a story about the most renowned treasure hunt in history! Remembering the excitement of childhood treasure hunts, I eagerly read Shelley Neese’s landmark book, The Copper Scroll Project. Her decade of research and first-hand experience details the most sought-after treasures in world history. The book offers up a resplendent adventure to match wide-ranging interests whether in archeology, Israel and the Middle East, secular or religious history, the Bible, theology, wordsmithing skills, or a captivating mystery.

The Copper Scroll Project is not fiction. The copper scroll itself is an authentic cousin to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Placed on a cave shelf by ancient hands 2400 years ago, the copper scroll was discovered in 1952 in Qumran, Israel by a French archeologist. The copper artifact is the only one of its kind–not written on leather or papyrus–and not a book or segment of the bible. Engraved in an early form of Hebrew, the fragile copper scroll is singular in its existence. It’s the most astounding list ever written; a list of tabernacle and Temple artifacts, coins, silver, jewels, and clothing; full of shrouded clues as to their location. And still yet to be discovered.

Since the copper scroll’s discovery in 1952, it has generated countless avenues of scholarly discussion, disagreements, archeological, and financial challenges.  As well, Bible-believing Christians worldwide remain curious and fascinated by the whereabouts of these treasures. Questions abound: Are the treasures scattered or buried across deserts from Israel to Iraq? Did Roman soldiers steal and sell Second Temple artifacts? Are they located in Qumran? Who engraved the copper scroll? The Copper Scroll Project will answer many of your questions.

Make no mistake though. While Neese’s research took her to Qumran in the Israeli Judean desert, her book is not a dry, dull archeological treatise.  Neese’s writing itself is a feast of fresh, descriptive story-telling creating what every reader wants…the kind of book that opens doors to savor each word while holding back the desire to rush excitedly to the next intriguing chapter.

The main character, among others significant to the story, is Jim Barfield, a devoted Christian from Arkansas. He’s a retired fire chief and specializes in forensic investigative work. Barfield’s skills may seem unusual for an archeological pursuit, but reading Neese’s account of Barfield’s undertaking, it makes sense. Barfield’s passionate devotion to Israel, professional background, and attention to every minuscule detail have advanced the search for the elusive, profound objects on the copper list. His quest for the copper scroll is reminiscent of God’s habit of tapping an ordinary Christian on the shoulder giving directions to pursue an extraordinary task.

Some of the additional characters represent another kind of list: top experts in their fields including Henry Wright Baker-Engineering professor at Manchester College, Yaakov Dahan-Director of Qumran, Shuka Dorfman-Head of Israeli Antiquities Authority, and Gabriel Barkay-Israeli Archaeologist in charge of Temple Mount Sifting Project.  Neese vividly and masterfully writes about each character’s part in Barfield’s eight-year journey; an exercise in faith, persistence, sincerity, and obedience to the role God delegated to him.  His journey in life is sure to inspire yours while reading about the lead-up in this book to the greatest discovery yet to be made; holy artifacts that could span history from the Exodus to Babylonian captivity.

The Copper Scroll Project is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at the website

About Shelley Neese: 

Author Shelley Neese

Author Shelley Neese is Vice President of The Jerusalem Connection Report. She writes regular articles for The Report and her articles have also appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Jerusalem Post Metro Edition, Arutz Sheva, and FrontPage Magazine. She formerly worked as the assistant to the Consul General at the Consulate of Israel to New England. In addition, she was a consultant at Conflict Management Group, a nonprofit connected to Harvard Law School. Living and studying in Israel for over three years, she has returned many times since. She spent the months leading up to the Gaza disengagement in Israel, working with a team of negotiators in a status report on issues relating to the “day after” Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. Shelley studied in Israel from 2000 -2003, where she received her M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben Gurion University. Her master’s thesis examined the secret, multilateral negotiations ending the 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

A native of Louisiana, she received her B.A. in Political Science from Louisiana State University. Shelley speaks Hebrew and has dedicated her life to supporting Israel. She currently resides in Washington, DC with her four children and her husband Brian, a Lt. Colonel and family physician in the U.S. Air Force. A member of the Jewish National Fund’s Speaker’s Bureau, Shelley is an experienced public speaker and is available to speak at your church, synagogue, or organization. She has a passion to educate Christians on the spiritual, historical, and moral reasons why they should actively support Israel.

  1. Comment by David on January 16, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    While it is likely Roman soldiers stole what they could, the major items from Herod’s Temple were taken back to Rome. The gold menorah, a golden table with two vessels, and two silver trumpets are depicted on the Arch of Titus. The actual objects were displayed in a nearby temple and it is unlikely the depictions were inaccurate. An archaeologist has worked out an inscription on the Colosseum from the mounting holes of now lost bronze letters. It states that the construction was funded by spoils from Judea. So, a huge amount of valuables were removed by the Romans.

  2. Comment by Jim Barfield on January 18, 2019 at 9:01 am

    That may be true. But, these items were buried during the time of Jeremiah, long before the Hellenistic period you’re speaking of. Shelley stays well within the main stream opinion when dating the copper scroll but I don’t have to. The treasures of the copper scroll were buried during the Babylonian wars.

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